As it appears that David Lemieux might not get the chance to fight Miguel Cotto, the former world champion does get a WBO middleweight title shot as a consolation prize.
According to Eric Gomez, the President of Golden Boy Promotions, the WBO sent a letter saying that Lemieux has been order to fight WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. Gomez told Boxingscene.com to confirm the letter and said he will talk to Saunders' promoter Frank Warren to try and get the fight to happen.
"We just received a letter from the WBO and it's been ordered that he has to fight (Billy Joe) Saunders as the mandatory. I'm going to start having conversations with Frank Warren," Gomez said.
If the fight is going to take place, a date and venue is likely already set. There had been reports that if Lemieux wouldn't fight Cotto, then he could still probably fight on the December 2 HBO card from Madison Square Garden as the co-feature fight. With Lemieux now possibly getting a world title shot, that fight could also be moved from the December 2 co-main event to headlining its own HBO card later in that month.
Saunders had been trying to fight either Gennady Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez for some time. He recently defended his title against Willie Monroe Jr., but with a Canelo vs. Golovkin rematch likely happening, Saunders is off to defend his own title.
Lemieux, the top raked middleweight in the WBO's official rankings as of September 11, hasn't fought since beating Marco Reyes back in May. Lemieux won the WBO Intercontinental title in March when he brutally knocked out Curtis Stevens. Lemieux has won his last four fights. Lemieux had long been linked to be Cotto's final opponent, but reports are circulating that Cotto will instead fight Sadam Ali on December 2.